Posted on September 9, 2008

African Immigrants Riot in Spain

BBC News, September 7, 2008

African immigrants have rioted in Spain after a Senegalese man was stabbed to death in the street of a southern town.

Police said the rampage began in the early hours of Sunday, and led to houses and cars being set on fire.

After the 28-year-old man was killed in a fight in Roquetas de Mar, an angry gathering “degenerated into violence and public disorder”, a statement said.

Police said they did not know what led to the attack, but they were looking for a local man.

A witness said the man was killed as he tried to intervene in a dispute between Senegalese and Roma (Gypsy) families in the area, Reuters reported.

Rioters set fire to two homes of relatives of the man suspected of the killing, police said.

They also said rioters attacked firefighters with stones, and clashed with police.

There are a high proportion of immigrants in Roquetas de Mar, in the province of Almeria, many of whom work in the agricultural sector.

Clashes between more than 150 migrants street vendors in central Athens left 13 people injured—some seriously—over night Saturday. According to witnesses, hundreds of bystanders fled from the area of the Omonoia Square where mainly African vendors armed with knives, axes, and iron bars fought each other over territory.

One policeman was also injured in the melee and was forced to discharge his firearm, resulting in the wounding of a migrant and a bystander, state-run media reported.

The clashes ended early Saturday morning after special police units were deployed. A total of 56 people were arrested.

Almost one million migrants live in Greece, making one-tenth of the population mediterranean country a non-citizen of the European Union.